Ever just have one of those weeks where tiny thing after tiny thing piles up; microaggression after microaggression hits you?
That was my week.
Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of positive things that happened this week as well. I dyed my hair black (and it didn’t look horrible!), I had my 27th birthday on Wednesday, and I just continued to take care of name change issues (court order for name change: check; updated drivers license: check; filed for revisions to my Social Security card: in process).
What made the week a bit of a challenge were the repeated instances of being misgendered or misnamed. This happened at work and with my family.
I was given an assignment at work that I just didn’t quite understand. I asked for assistance from a coworker. In trying to help me, this person seemed to get more and more irritated that I didn’t understand what it was I was being asked to do. At one point, she referred to me as “him” (to another coworker: “can you send him that file?”). I said, “I know you probably didn’t mean it, but can you please not call me ‘him?'” She only responded by mumbling something under her breath.
Today, I met my parents and sister for lunch (they were taking me out for my birthday). At one point, I felt like my parents were treating me like a child (this is a different story for a different day). I said, “please stop talking down to me…” My mom jumped in and called me my birth name. I corrected her. She said, “when you act like this (frustrated, I guess), you remind me of him and that’s why I did that.” Later, my dad used masculine pronouns to refer to me.
Here is a quick tip for cis folks who consider themselves trans allies: treating me with the basic courtesy of using my name and my actual pronouns is not something you can just throw out the window if you’re not entirely pleased with me at that moment. This makes it appear as though you are only using my correct (and now legal) name and pronouns as a way to humor me, and not that you actually view me as who I am.